Articles filed under Zoning/Planning
OPPD’s hoped-for solar farm near Yutan is headed to the Saunders County Board with a strike against it. On Monday evening, after two hours of public testimony, the Saunders County Planning Commission voted 5-1 against a conditional-use permit for the project. Commissioner Jake Mayer was the sole supportive vote. The County Board, which isn’t bound by the Planning Commission’s vote, is scheduled to take up the issue May 11.
OSWEGO — A resolution laying out proposed points to be included in an agreement with RWE Renewables wind energy company was brought to the table by Labette County Commissioner Cole Proehl on Friday and approved in a 2-1 vote.
In a joint letter to Scottish Government ministers with responsibility for transport, electricity transmission, rural economy and tourism, South Knapdale and Tarbert and Skipness community councils joined forces with their five Kintyre equivalents to express concern at the pace and size of wind farm developments on valuable landscapes. They also claim some windfarm developers have recently ignored Scottish Government advice on providing community benefits – cash for local organisations – and shared community ownership.
Haas said his concern is that if the commission does not handle RWE’s development right with a special use permit or through zoning, the next wind company wanting to develop in the county will expect the same deal. So if setbacks aren’t adequate with RWE’s development, the next company will expect the same. Haas said he’s seen this in the past when studying wind developments in a number of states. Some counties ended up in court with wind companies.
The bill, hotly debated throughout the session, would have created some statewide regulations for wind and solar projects and provided some financial incentives from developers for counties that choose to give a green light to such projects. But tough opposition from representatives of local governments, as well as grassroots citizen groups, kept pushing the local control alarm that ultimately may have led to the bill’s demise.
The Worth County Board of Supervisors passed a "temporary moratorium" on commercial wind projects in the county on Monday, though it's unclear what effect it will have on an ongoing project.
Falmouth wind turbine project to plague taxpayers for decades
The Utility Committee seems to have heeded Huhn’s word. Senator Mark Messmer drafted what was referred to as Amendment Three, significantly changing the bill. This amendment grandfathers in counties that have more restrictions on renewable energy systems than the standards in the bill, like Henry County’s current wind energy conversion systems (WECS) ordinance. This amendment also reduces the noise limit a wind turbine can make to 50 db (it was higher in the original draft) and increases setbacks from municipalities and state parks to one mile. But most notably, the amendment does away with mentions of home rule, and changed the appeals process – instead of appealing to the IURC, complaints would be filed with the local circuit courts. This was done in an effort to keep more local control.
State Senate Utilities Committee Chairman Mike Thompson said Wednesday that he is trying to protect landowners who fear that a proliferation of large turbines in their rural areas will drop property values and harm their quality of life. Thompson, a conservative Shawnee Republican, is pursuing a bill that would impose statewide regulations limiting turbines to one per square mile and keeping them 1.5 miles from any home or public building.
Wind now cranks up more kilowatts than any other power source in the state of Kansas. Yet even as towering turbines and their slow-churning blades come to increasingly define the Kansas landscape, a counter movement seems to take hold.
Anderson County resident Mike Burns ripped pages of his prepared speech in half Monday to speak from the heart about why Kansas had to pass a law regulating placement of wind farms to protect property rights and bring peace of mind to folks in rural areas attractive to developers. Burns joined dozens of people at the Capitol eager to testify on behalf of Senate Bill 279, which would establish state-crafted regulation of wind generation facilities from the turbine to power line. It would replace county commission preferences for or against wind farms with state law defining turbine setbacks from businesses, parks, homes, property lines and much more. The maximum density would be one turbine per square mile, well below the current standard. There would be caps on sound and light emitted by turbines that sometimes reach 500 feet into the sky.
Opponents of the wind farm have started an online petition. They also have started a GoFundMe fundraiser called “Save Our Horse Heaven Hills” that has raised more than $5,000. “We are in danger of losing the natural beauty of this unique geological feature with majestic ridges, rolling hills, and steep slopes contoured by ice age floods,” says the fundraiser organized by Barry Bush, a Benton PUD commissioner, to raise public awareness.
Despite repeated requests from residents, the Pine Township Board on Monday declined to take any action on placing a temporary moratorium on wind permits, on saying whether they would be updating the township’s wind ordinance or on allowing a spokesperson with turbine concerns to be scheduled to speak at a future meeting.
The roads in Henry County, Indiana, were dotted with signs protesting projects locals say will infringe on their rights and their quality of life: wind turbines.
During the last decade or so, counties have exercised this power in regard to wind and solar development. County commissioners in over 30 Indiana counties, such as Boone, Marshall and Pulaski, have passed ordinances that restrict or ban industrial wind. These bans and ordinances are the result of months and even years of study and public input and reflect the will of the people in those counties. ...Enter Ed Soliday, a state representative from Valparaiso, who is the author of HB 1381, which establishes statewide standards for siting of wind and solar installations. If passed, this bill would invalidate all existing county ordinances and moratoriums. The House approved the measure by a vote of 58-38 on Feb. 17, and the Senate began consideration of the bill March 1.
The Maple Valley Township Board voted 4-0 on Monday night — with new Trustee Benjamin Newell abstaining due to his lease with Apex Clean Energy — to rescind their recently approved controversial wind ordinance, to rescind approval of a ballot question regarding the wind ordinance and to place a six-month moratorium on any wind activity in the township.
Nearly 60 Indiana Counties Pass Resolutions to Oppose HB 1381
MONTICELLO — The Piatt County zoning board of appeals is recommending 15-hour wind turbine shadow flicker limit on adjacent homes. That is the same amount that the county board sent back tot he ZBA in January.
A bill clearing the path for renewable energy in Indiana at the request of the businesses community has split both major parties and pitted local counties against the bill’s erosion of “home rule.” The bill sets standards for siting solar and wind farms but allows counties to permit and review the process. However, if a county denies a company that meets these standards, a company can appeal to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
Board delays decision on adoption at least another two weeks